• WordNet 3.6
    • n epaulet adornment consisting of an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Epaulet (Mil) A shoulder ornament or badge worn by military and naval officers, differences of rank being marked by some peculiar form or device, as a star, eagle, etc.; a shoulder knot.☞ In the United States service the epaulet is reserved for full dress uniform. Its use was abolished in the British army in 1855.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n epaulet A shoulder-piece; an ornamental badge worn on the shoulder; specifically, a strap proceeding from the collar, and terminating on the shoulder in a disk, from which depends a fringe of cord, usually in bullion, but sometimes in worsted or other material, according to the rank of the wearer, etc. Epaulets were worn in the British army until 1855, and are still worn in the navy by all officers of and above the rank of lieutenant, and by some civil officers. They were worn by all officers in the United States army until 1872; since that time only general officers wear them; all other commissioned officers wear shoulder-knots of gold bullion. All United States naval officers above the grade of ensign wear epaulets. In the French army the private soldiers wear epaulets of worsted. See shoulder-strap, shoulder-knot.
    • n epaulet The shoulder-piece in the armor of the fourteenth century, especially when small and fitting closely to the person, as compared with the large pauldron of later days.
    • n epaulet The shoulder-covering of splints forming part of the light and close-fitting armor of the sixteenth century.
    • n epaulet In dressmaking, an ornament for the shoulder, its form changing with the different fashions.
    • n epaulet In entomology, the tegula or plate covering the base of the anterior wing in hymenopterous insects.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Epaulet ep′ol-et a shoulder-piece: a badge of a military or naval officer (now disused in the British army): an ornament on the shoulder of a lady's dress.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. épaulette, dim. of épaule, shoulder, fr. L. spatula, a broad piece (LL., shoulder), dim. of spatha, abroad, flat instrument, fr. Gr. , also, a broad rib, shoulder blade. See Spade the instrument, and cf. Epaule Spatula
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. épauletteépaule, the shoulder.


In literature:

Certainly he could be no less than a captain in the navy, with those epaulets and sleeve-bands.
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
Not worth the struggle, when he won his way from spade to epaulet in the defense of the nation's honor?
"Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence" by Various
Epaulets, perhaps no badge of saint-ship, 30.
"The Biglow Papers" by James Russell Lowell
Two immortals in epaulets and sashes in the background are only wanted instead of one.
"Edmond Dantès" by Edmund Flagg
On each side of his neck he has a bare orange-coloured spot, and near it a downy epaulet.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
The top of her head came just above Orne's dress epaulets.
"Operation Haystack" by Frank Patrick Herbert
M. de Faverges had fallen back on the National Guard, without obtaining the epaulet of commander.
"Bouvard and Pécuchet" by Gustave Flaubert
Nor did she fail to observe that he wore a buff cockade on his left breast and gilt epaulets upon his shoulders.
"The Loyalist" by James Francis Barrett
Both, like epaulets or tassels, were worn lightly and befittingly.
"The Strollers" by Frederic S. Isham
The other two wore the Sov epaulets which proclaimed them majors, but Joe didn't place the nationality of the uniforms.
"Frigid Fracas" by Dallas McCord Reynolds

In poetry:

Said Princess Dimplecheek, "My dear,
Your majesty forgets--
This morning we played grenadier
With grandpa's epaulets.
"The Two Bears" by Carolyn Wells
Tell me what find we to admire
In epaulets and scarlet coats.
In men, because they load and fire,
And know the art of cutting throats?
"The Chronicle Of The Drum" by William Makepeace Thackeray

In news:

David Petraeus's reputation sparkled like the four stars that graced his epaulets -- and it was his best weapon as he battled his way up the ranks and eventually to a prestigious civilian post as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
A strategically placed epaulet here, an acid-bright citrus hue there.
5.11 PDU shirts have a mic-cord pass-through above the duty belt, hidden document pockets, pen slots, a zip placket with faux buttons, epaulets, underarm vents and adjustable wrist cuffs.
In the early 1900's, Burberry made coats for British troops, fastening on epaulets and D rings for weaponry, and a star was born.